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Flippin’ through Previews – August 2009


... YYYYYYYYYYYY!!!!!!!!!

Yes, it’s Previews #251, which promises that the final issue of Planetary will come out. It doesn’t promise the Armageddon will occur the next day, but it might as well, right?

Dark Horse:

As you well know, I’m not the hugest fan of Joss Whedon, but I might get Sugarshock (page 22; 14 October). First of all, Fábio Moon on art is a no-brainer, but I’ve also heard good things about this particular Whedon story. For $3.50, I can deal with the risk!

I’m always amused (or is that bemused?) about the lengths to which American comic book companies will go to hint at nipples on women without actually showing them. Check out the cover of Conan the Cimmerian #15 on page 26:

What's the difference, really?

Seriously? If she weren’t wearing anything, there’d be an uproar. But those things (how are they staying there?) are okay. It cracks me up.

In keeping with their revival of every Robert E. Howard creation ever (next up – L’il Conan, which REH created when he was eight), Dark Horse offers every Marvel Solomon Kane comic in one volume (page 27; 16 December). I’m not sure if I’ll get it, but check out the artistic talent: Howard Chaykin, Bret Blevins, Mike Mignola, John Ridgway, and Al Williamson, to name a few. Pretty keen.

I could have sworn Grendel: Behold the Devil had already been collected. I guess not, because there it is on page 30 (16 December). This is a beautiful comic, and although the story doesn’t quite live up to the art, it’s still a very good book. And you get eight issues for 20 bucks!

Dang, Matt Wagner can draw!

Dean Motter’s Electropolis gets collected on page 35 (2 December). This is an odd book, a lesser Mister X or Terminal City, but still interesting. If you dig Motter, though, it’s worth a look (although if you dig Motter, you probably already have it).

New Groo (page 37; 28 October). Laugh, fanboys, laugh!


Yay! A new Azrael series (page 71; 21 October)! I was waiting for it! Here’s what I don’t get: the advert reads “The hero returns in an all-new ongoing series!” Except it’s not Jean-Paul Valley. So this guy isn’t “returning” because he was never here in the first place. My head hurts.

Moench. Jones. Batman (page 72; 7 and 21 October). And this guy on the cover:

You love this series already!


Okay, so the solicitation text for Superman: World of New Krypton #8 (page 80; 7 October) reads: “[W]ill the Man of Steel discover that Hawkman’s legendary temper is shared by all his people?” Okay, first of all, I thought Hawkman was one of the more mellow Thanagarians, so that can’t be good for Supes. Second, not to be a continuity nerd, but hasn’t Superman met Thanagarians like, dozens of times? Or has he been brainwashed and I missed it?

Meanwhile, over on page 87, Justice League: Cry for Justice #4 (7 October) tells us that “Green Lantern and company wrestle with the idea of torturing villains for information in order to save lives.” Considering they were cheerfully torturing villains in issue #1 and this is issue #4, I’d say they’ve already wrestled it and pinned it like Rey Mysterio pinning Dolph Ziggler!!!! Boo-yeah!*

There’s an annual for R.E.B.E.L.S. (page 91; 7 October)? Really?

DC dips into their (well, retroactively theirs) archives and brings us DC Comics Classic Library: Shazam! – The Monster Society of Evil (page 96; 23 December). Sure, it’s $40, but it’s Otto Binder and C. C. Beck. You have to ask yourself – can you afford NOT to get it?????

Don't shilly-shally in ordering this!

Oh, Johnny DC, you crack me up: Batman gets turned into a monster (Batman: Brave and the Bold #10)? The Super Friends roast marshmallows (Super Friends #20)? Pet Club in space (Tiny Titans #21)? Can you stand the awesome? (All of these are on pages 102-103, by the way.)

The Winter Men gets the trade paperback treatment on page 107 (25 November). Totally worth your money.

Page 108: Planetary #27 (7 October). Man, this comic better cure syphilis. And solve the energy crisis. And figure out a workable Palestinian-Israeli settlement. And make reality television stop so that shows like Life on Mars and Kings don’t get cancelled just because they don’t feature mouth-breathing WT yelling at each other. And have a Manimal DVD with every glorious episode attached to it when it arrives in stores. But no pressure or anything, Warren and John.

Story continues below

On page 119, DC gets around to reprinting the first (and only) Shade, The Changing Man trade (25 November) and then, below that, they offer … a second Shade, The Changing Man trade! Holy crapola! These are excellent comics, with Milligan being weird and Bachalo before he got incomprehensible. Go, DC!

That Brendan McCarthy was on some good drugs, I'd say.

* Fuck Curran. I can make wrestling references too!**

** Okay, that was a bit harsh. Sorry, Brad! Also: I stole the wrestling reference from Paul O’Brien, because I’ll be damned if I can make one myself.


Okay, so I guess some news out of San Diego was that Kirkman’s challenge to McFarlane about drawing something was about to see print, and Haunt is offered on page 136 (7 October). Except … McFarlane isn’t drawing it. He’s inking Capullo and Ottley. Now, there’s nothing wrong with that, but doesn’t it feel like a bit of a cheat?

Of course, it just looks like his Spider-Man in a different outfit, but it's the Toddster!

I’m not entirely sure if I’m going to buy Cowboy Ninja Viking (page 142; 7 October), but you have to give AJ Lieberman and Riley Rossmo credit for going balls-out with that title.

One Model Nation on page 152 (28 October) sounds somewhat interesting. It’s written by Courtney Taylor, the frontman for the Dandy Warhols, and although Gerard Way did a nice job with coming from music to comics, can lightning strike twice? It helps that he has Jim Rugg drawing his words, so you know it will look excellent.

I know this is way too easy, but I like how the face of the new Witchblade is obscured, but other parts of her body are not (pages 170-171; 7 October):

Joyce Ballantyne Brand must be rolling in her grave! Luckily, all the women in the Top Cow Universe have gigantic breasts, so this doesn't give it away!

Sorry, but I just had to go there.


According to the Marvel solicits, Anita Blake will soon be featured in a television series (page 13). But according the comments in Chris Sims’s award-winning series of annotations of the series, the books get progressively more hard-core porny. So how will they adapt it for television? And will it be as boring as the actual comics seem to be (seriously, read the annotations, because it doesn’t look like anything ever happens).

Hey, remember when Marvel ditched all the Spider-Man books so that they could have three weeks every month of Amazing Spider-Man, because that’s really what the fans wanted? Yeah, that didn’t last long: Web of Spider-Man shows up on page 22. Okay, I’ll write it (in honor of DeMatteis, who’s writing the book): Bwah-ha-ha-ha!

I certainly hope the existence of an Agents of Atlas/Uncanny X-Men crossover (page 29) doesn’t mean AoA is in trouble. But it probably does. Shit.

Hulk #16 (page 41) gives us Red She-Hulk. That scream of agony you hear? Yeah, it’s yours.

Despite my disgust at the excessive X-crap that Marvel keeps pumping out, Wolverine in an insane asylum written by Jason Aaron and drawn by Yanick Paquette (page 70) might get me to change my mind. We’ll see.

I had this idea years ago.  What?  I did!

Deadpool #900 (page 72) cracks me up. At least someone at Marvel has a sense of humor about their increasingly-ridiculous numbering policy.

X-Babies #1 (page 75) features, in some capacity, the characters from Star Comics. I don’t know if the series will be any good, but that idea’s pretty freakin’ awesome.

Skottie Young is, as the kids say, the shit.

Marvel brings the Asgardian War thing with the X-Men and New Mutants back in print with a nice hardcover on page 90. This is quite good, with Claremont before he got too, too Claremontian, plus Paul Smith and Art Adams handle the art.

Yay! The back of the book!

Amaze Ink/Slave Labor has what might be an intriguing book on page 192: Winchester #1. It’s about two people who sneak onto the grounds of the Winchester Mansion and discover, well, weird stuff. I’d love to visit the Winchester Mansion. That would be keen.

The Black Coat: Or Give Me Death returns on page 196 from Ape Entertainment. It’s a Festivus Miracle! This is such a cool comic, even without Francesco Francavilla on art.

Can I use these tags subliminally?  BUY THIS COMIC, BUY THIS COMIC!  We'll see if it works!

Archaia has its usual collection of cool stuff on pages 196 and 201. The Devil’s Handshake (page 196) is a story about treasure hunters written by Larry Hama. Robotika gets two hardcover volumes (one on page 196, one on page 201), collecting both series. It’s, you know, awesome.

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Archie #602 (page 201): Archie goes to a Lamaze class. The mind boggles.

I’m not sure why 303 was out of print, but on page 211, Avatar brings it back. This is a fairly atypical war story from Garth Ennis in that it’s about a soldier but it’s not necessarily a war story. It’s pretty good nevertheless. And Jacen Burrows’s art is typically strong.

Sergio Aragonés writes and draws Bart Simpson Comics #50 on page 218 (from Bongo Comics, unsurprisingly). That’s kind of cool.

Boom! Studios has a new series on page 218: The Anchor by Phil Hester and Brian Churilla. It’s about a dude standing at the gates of Hell to keep back invading demons. Sounds pretty keen. Meanwhile, if you’ve been waiting for the trade of Unthinkable, it’s on page 231. I don’t know if I can recommend it, because it’s not finished yet, but it’s not bad so far.

Phil Hester: Underrated writer.

There’s another trade solicited on page 247 from Dynamite that may or may not be good: The Trial of Sherlock Holmes. Again, the series isn’t done yet, but again, if you’re waiting on the trade, there it is!

Comic Book Comics #4 gets resolicited on page 265 from Evil Twin Comics. Man, I hope it comes out this time!

So IDW is releasing every “Bloom County” strip in five volumes (the first one is on page 271). Considering it’s my favorite comic strip of all freakin’ time, I’ll be getting this. Even though I already have most of them collected. I don’t care!

Poor Cutter John - he couldn't withstand the Opus Phenomenon!

Mike Grell has a new Jon Sable series on page 274. If you’re interested.

IDW also has The Rocketeer: The Complete Adventures on page 280. Dang, that has to be awesome, doesn’t it? I’ve never read this, so I’ll have to get this as well.

Kodansha Comics brings us new printings of volumes one of Akira and Ghost in the Shell on page 286. I’ve read the Akira, but not Ghost in the Shell. I might have to get these.

Speaking of Greg Rucka (and I was, just not in this post), Stumptown from Oni Press is offered on page 294. It’s about a gambling detective who owes a bunch of money to a tribal casino but gets a way out if she can solve one case. The text compares it to Magnum, P. I., so Bill Reed should buy this, and it takes place in Portland, so everyone else should buy it, because Portland is awesome! Oh, and Greg Rucka is usually good with creator-owned stuff, but I judge things on more esoteric crap than that!

I mentioned that when I spoke to Anina Bennett at the convention, she told me about her and Paul Guinan’s new book, Boilerplate: History’s Mechanical Marvel, which is an alternate history of the United States with their creation, Boilerplate, inserted into key moments of the past century. It’s in this month’s Previews, but in the book section on page 325, in case you’re interested. I certainly am.

I'm a sucker for stuff like this.

This totally cracked me up:

See, because he promised change, but the economy is in the tank, so this is the only change you have ... Oh, forget it!

Well, that’s all she wrote this week, folk! The bottom of the alphabet has to step up, I guess! Let’s get to digging through Previews, people!


Red She-Hulk…
This is why I don’t buy Marvel anymore.

Well, to be honest the new guy is returning from a Battle for the Cowl mini that no one cared about, so It the new Azrael first appearance.

It’s good to see Bloom County collected, since this was easily the highest point of Berke Breathed’s long tenure on newspaper strips. I noticed that when he insisted on doing Sunday strips only with Outland and Opus, there was quite a bit of drop-off in the funny…

Also, though you didn’t mention the solicit for the final issue of Iron Man: World’s Most Wanted, the comment Fraction made at a SDCC panel about how ” things get worse ” really makes me skeptical. I love the guy’s work, but he basically gave Tony Stark Alzheimer’s! How can things possibly get worse?!

I can vouch for Wolverine – Weapon X,Greg. Jason Aaron is my favourite new writer right now. In fact, you should restart buying Ghost Rider because his run’s about to end.

I’m looking forward to the first collection or two of Bloom County. Once he introduced Bill the Cat, the series went downhill sharply. It was funny when it was a satire of small-town America, but its attempts to tackle national issues mostly failed badly.

Sugarshock is indeed excellent.

Tom Fitzpatrick

August 1, 2009 at 1:19 pm

Is there anything that doesn’t “crack” you up?

Would LOVE to see OPUS be collected, but we’ll see.

Tom Fitzpatrick

August 1, 2009 at 1:22 pm

As an afterthought, Armageddon might occur if and when Ellis might announce his return to FELL, DESOLATION JONES, and newuniversal.

As an afterthought, Armageddon might occur if and when Ellis might announce his return to FELL, DESOLATION JONES, and newuniversal.

Uh oh:

* FELL #10 is underway right now on this end, so don’t bug Ben. We’re on it. It’ll be a while before it’s ready.

* DESOLATION JONES remains in temporary limbo for various reasons. Wildstorm and I are working on it, is all you need to know.

* NEWUNIVERSAL remains on pause while Steve and I do an IRON MAN thing, and we’ll return to finish it once we’re done. Scheduling was the enemy — after the loss of the computer, there were only so many scripts and stories I could reconstitute simultaneously, and ASTONISHING X-MEN trumped it on the scheduling.

Dude: Yeah, after I dropped Ghost Rider, it got awesome again, or so I’ve heard. That means I have to buy the trades!

Tom: I’m a happy dude. Is there anything wrong with that?????

Shade the changing man is my all time favourite comic book, ever… The trades come out on my birthday.
I’ve got the first trade and the rest of the series in singles, but I feel the need to buy the reprint anyway!
I’m far too excited for something so far away…

I hated Opus. Is Bloom County any better?

Yay for Magnum, PI.

Bloom County is hilarious. I love it when I was a little kid; I love it even more now that I have any idea what happened in the eighties.

There’s tons of stuff that didn’t make it into the existing Bloom County collections that should be in the IDW volumes. Check out this site!

(Oh, God, please work html code!)

Hooray, it did!

Michael, you really think Bill was the downfall of Breathed’s comics? Admittedly there were limits to the jokes that could be made with ” hideous, diseased Garfield analogue “, but the comics didn’t stop being funny when Breathed went into long, convoluted plots. In fact, I think that those plots were what made the strips; kind of mixture between Doonesbury’s satire and Fantasia’s trippiness.

When Breathed moved to just doing Sunday strips, the limits to how effective the satire was became immediately obvious :(

The Solomon Kane reprint is definitely on my shopping list. That was some good stuff there, especially the Savage Sword short stories. I prefer Kane to Conan most of the time anyway, so it’s nice to see these collected.

The McFarlane thing does seem a bit cheaty, but when did Bachalo get incomprehensible, outside of… well, okay, maybe Sinister Spider-Man is a bit.

I love the REH Solomon Kane stories, I might have to check out that reprint.

Life on Mars? Really? I wouldn’t have thought that it getting cancelled was anyone’s fault but their own.

I’m glad Kodansha is reprinting Akira. That means I won’t have to pay over $40 for volume 6 on Amazon.

The original, British version of Life on Mars is sooooooo vastly superior to the crappy American one. Phil Glenister forever!

Sorry Ian, the only thing I’m taking away from that is that Ellis has apparently written Fell #10 and is going to continue not writing Desolation Jones and newuniversal for the foreseeable future because apparently it’s impossible to rewrite something once your computer crashes (also the concept of backing up files does not exist in warren ellis’s world).

Also Greg, Ghost in the Shell (and by extension everything Masamune Shirow has ever made,) is really a super-acquired taste. I’m a big fan of the entire Ghost in the Shell franchise, but honestly the source manga is probably my least favorite of the material.

In my view, Shirow’s way too prone to abandoning characterization or story in favor of huge multi-page metaphysical/technobabble tangents that largely make sense only to him. He’s great on concepts and worldbuilding, but when it comes to actually structuring a coherent and compelling storyline, not so much. GiTS is probably the worst offender on this front, although I vaguely remember Orion being exceedingly incomprehensible and having a far thinner plot than anything in Ghost. Anyway, compared to either Oshii’s movies or the Stand Alone Complex TV show, the story and characters are exceedingly flimsy. The artwork is absolutely gorgeous, don’t get me wrong, but the writing leaves a lot to be desired on a lot of fronts.

My recommendation would be to check if your local library has any copies of the Dark Horse printing in circulation before you buy, because while it does look great, it’s not exactly “well written” and I can’t say I’ve had the desire to reread it anywhere near as much as something like Akira, Pluto or Berserk.

Thanks, Dave, for convincing me I’m not crazy. Just today I finally read Shirow’s Appleseed. You described its flaws exactly.

One point for anyone looking at Bloom County who didn’t read it at the time or is ..young….it’s very 80’s.
The satire and all is very much of it’s time. Brilliant, but very topical, and that might not translate.

Thanks for pointing out Rocketeer. It was on my list of comics to track down. Additionally, on the next page there is The Talisman #0 which happens to be one of my favorite Stephen King books so I’m going to look into that one. I don’t usually check out the other comic section as I can’t really afford to so thanks for pointing it out.

“Second, not to be a continuity nerd, but hasn’t Superman met Thanagarians like, dozens of times?”

Hasn’t DC rebooted continuty three times in the past decade?

Andrew Collins

August 2, 2009 at 4:21 am

Oh, I’m very interested in that new Jon Sable series. One of my all-time favorite comics from one of my all-time favorite creators. I’ve already read it over at ComicMix’s website, and it’s a fantastic story. Highly recommended. Same with the new Grimjack series, Manx Cat.

I’m trying to save money right now, and yet there are so many tempting things coming out, like that Rocketeer HC, the new Shade TPB, the newest Nexus Archive, another Jesse Marsh Tarzan collection…ugh…my poor wallet…

Trust me. As somebody who has been there, you do NOT need to see the Winchester Mystery house. It’s mostly just a dusty old unfurnished house with an extremely random and haphazard layout. You certainly don’t need to travel from afar to see it…

tk: Read Bachalo’s Steampunk. “Incomprehensible” might be too kind a word

Well, I liked Life on Mars. It’s certainly not as good as the original, but it was still better than every reality show.

Good to know about Ghost in the Shell, Dave. I enjoyed the movie and didn’t know much about the manga. To the library!

Well, I probably wasn’t going to make a trip just to see the Winchester House, but that’s still good to know in case I’m near it some day!


August 4, 2009 at 10:34 pm

but when did Bachalo get incomprehensible, outside of… well, okay, maybe Sinister Spider-Man is a bit.

His style started to shift during Generation Next, the second Death mini, and the return to Generation X.
However, when he went to SteamPunk, he let loose with his new style, and never really came back down.
He has gotten a little more readable since his return to Marvel, but back in the day you could actually tell what was going on in a panel on first read.

Coming back to this thread a bit late; I haven’t checked out Steampunk, but I adore the bulk of Bachalo’s work on Uncanny. Steampunk may be up my alley after all…

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